Press Release: World Uyghur Congress Commemorates Uyghur Genocide Remembrance Day

Press Release: World Uyghur Congress Commemorates Uyghur Genocide Remembrance Day

Press Release – For Immediate Release
8 December 2023
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
+49 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

December 9 marks Uyghur Genocide Remembrance Day. On this day in 2021, the Uyghur Tribunal passed its landmark judgement, which has played a pivotal role in highlighting human rights abuses against the Uyghur and Turkic populations. The tribunal’s findings concluded that the Chinese government’s atrocities against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan constitute genocide and crimes against humanity. 

The judgement contributed significantly to the growing awareness and efforts aimed at addressing the atrocities committed against the Uyghurs and is crucial for the creation of broader awareness, acknowledgement and action by the international community. As a response to this crisis, and as of November 2023, eleven parliaments (Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Parliament) and one government (U.S.) have officially recognised the crimes committed against Uyghurs as genocide and/or crimes against humanity. More so, the historic assessment by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) concluded that the ongoing atrocities and human rights abuses in East Turkistan, particularly the “arbitrary and discriminatory detention” of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples, within the context of other restrictions “may amount to international crimes, in particular, crimes against humanity”. 

“There have been many successes throughout the past two years, but as the international attention fades, the Uyghur genocide continues more brutally and openly, covered under the CCP’s propaganda,” said WUC President, Dolkun Isa. “In light of the 75th anniversary of the Genocide Convention, we urge the world to not close its eyes and for world leaders to prioritise human rights instead of business as usual with China.”

Two years after the Uyghur Tribunal, global awareness has increased and policymakers, scholars and legal experts have dedicated their efforts to find strategies, legal avenues and accountability measures to address the Uyghur Genocide. Nonetheless, international attention is declining as the atrocities are exacerbating under Xi Jinping’s leadership. China was voted into the UN Human Rights Council in October, despite actively undermining internationally recognized human rights norms. Arbitrary detention, mass surveillance, rape and forced sterilization have not stopped. Additionally, Uyghur state-imposed forced labour is rampant in global supply chains, transnational repression is increasing, there is furthermore an increase in lengthy prison sentences and Uyghur children are forcefully separated from their families as Beijing’s attempts to assimilate Uyghurs into the dominant Han Chinese society. 

The Uyghur Genocide Remembrance Day is dedicated to remembering and honouring the resilience of the Uyghur community, and a collective call to action to support their rights and dignity. December 9, also marks the anniversary of the adoption of the UN Genocide Convention in 1948, which condemns and prohibits acts of genocide, reaffirming the global commitment to preventing and addressing such heinous crimes. The World Uyghur Congress reiterates its call to the international community to acknowledge their responsibilities under the 1948 UN Genocide Convention. As the global community prepares to celebrate the 75th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the abuses committed by China must be adequately addressed and the international community must not play into the hands of China, but rather commit to taking all necessary steps to end the ongoing Uyghur genocide.